The Blue Catfish (Ictalurus furcatus) is a species of catfish found in North America. They are primarily distributed in the Mississippi River drainage area including the Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, and Arkansas rivers. They have been introduced to a number of other reservoirs, rivers and lakes. They now occur in the Santee Cooper lakes of Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie in South Carolina and the James River in Virginia also in Powerton Lake in Pekin Illinois.
The Blue Catfish is an opportunistic predator and will eat any species of fish it can catch. Prey includes crayfish, freshwater mussels, frogs and other aquatic food sources. Catching its prey becomes a lot easier if it is wounded or dead and it are noted for feeding on baitfish that have been washed through spillways or power generator turbines. Blue Catfish are also known to attack scuba divers.
Due to the feeding habits of the Blue Catfish, most anglers that fish for these animals use a variety of baits to attract and catch these fish. Dead baits and stink baits are excellent choices to target these fish. Live river herring and shad usually are good choices along with shiner minnows, sunfish, suckers, and carp.